Monday, September 10, 2012

New Job, New Business, New...New..New!


I will write more later, but just to catch you up really quick, here is what has gone on in the last few months.
  • I know, I am a terrible person.  It has been a wild, wild ride these past few months.  I started a new job in May and so I took almost 3 weeks off before the new job and enjoyed my family.    I LOVE my new job, but it is very intense and so by the time I get home I am exhausted, and it is so busy, I don't have time to blog from work during the day.
  • Also, I have started an online business.  I am fully stocked (with more coming in each week) and ready to go!  It is a custom and classic children's clothes business, including monogramming and boutique creations.  Check us out at www.piedpipershop.com and tell your friends!
  • Rory just started back to school last week, she is going 3 days per week and we are loving it so far.  Today they had to bring their favorite apple to school and they are going to count them,  cut them, graph them and do some fraction work (and eat them of course).  I know...graphing and fractions...yeah, she is in 3k...haha!  We LOVE her school!
  • Rory starts dance this week too.  We did a 2 week camp this summer to see if she liked it and, as expected, she did!  She starts tomorrow doing ballet and tap.  I will keep you posted on that!  He is a pic or 2, just for fun!





Monday, March 19, 2012

MIA

I know, I know...I have never had a blog break that long, but it has been a wild and crazy few months.  Right after Christmas, we found out that 2 of my aunts had cancer (Kitty-bladder, Leann-lung), my Mom and Tim bought and moved into a new house and we moved them in the weekends surrounding Christmas and New Years, we threw a baby shower for my cousin Eric and his wife (they had Warren 2/15) and it has just been all around crazy around here.

I will get back into the swing of things soon, I promise.  For now, here is a pic to hold you over (it is the picture I used on Rory's Valentine's cards for her class).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rory's Birthday Party

Rory's 3rd birthday party was a LOT of fun.  I did a cookies and milk theme and it seemed to be a big hit. Instead of doing it at our house, we did the party at the church where Rory goes to MDO.  It worked out really well and since it was a beautiful day, the kids even got to play on the playground a bit.

We had chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, as well as Oreo cookie cake balls and Kissie pies (as well as a meat and cheese tray and goldfish too). 
These are the cartons of milk that all the kiddos got to take home.  I made them on photoshop, had them printed and then cut them out and assembled them.  I admit that I saw them online somewhere in the past few months, but instead of ordering them, I figured that i could do them on my computer and save a little $$.  They did turn out really cute.  I did little "to go" boxes for the kids to put their decorated sugar cookies and a carton of "milk" in to take home.



Rory's first friend to show up.  L is SO cute and she has twin sisters that are 5 months old.  Love her and SO glad that she and Rory are friends.
The cookie decorating station.  I had done a gazillion sugar cookies, iced them in royal icing and let the kids decorate them with edible markers.  It was a big hit and it was a lot less messy than doing sprinkles and stuff. 


The birthday girl and her giant cookie cake.  She was SO excited that everyone was singing to her.  I  still can't believe she is 3.



All of the little kids helped Rory open up her presents.  She was so good and LOVED having help going through all the presents.

We were cleaning up after the party and these 3 were running around acting a fool.  They have the best time together, I hope that they are friends for a long time.  It helps that I LOVE their Mommies and we have become good friends too.  haha!

Well, that is it for the 3rd Birthday Party, it was a great party and we are so thankful for all of our friends and family that made the trek to Birmingham to be there for Rory's big day. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

3

I know I have been a slacker lately, but the month of November was consumed with sickness.  Rory had a cold, gave it to me, I developed bronchitis (which lasted 3 weeks) and I gave it to Kevin (who is still battling it actually) and then mine developed into an upper resp. infection and then Rory got an upper resp infection as well.  Goodbye November, good riddance!

I will post some pis soon...in the mean time, my sweet tiny baby, turned 3 yesterday.  3...as in a big girl...so, in light of that, my annual letter for her birthday.

Rory,

Yesterday you turned 3.  You are officially a big girl.  Daddy and I both took off work yesterday to stay home with you and told you that we would do whatever you wanted to do, the whole day was up to you.  You asked for a ride on the carousel at the mall, and to go to lots of toy stores.  So, that is exactly what we did.  As I sat you up on the reindeer on the carousel at the mall, and buckled the belt around you as you hung onto the brass pole with white knuckles, I was suddenly struck by the sight of your little hands.  The last vestiges of baby and toddler could barely be seen.  Long gone are the little rolls of fat at your wrist, but for the longest time, you still had the dimples on your knuckles.  Yesterday, I noticed, that they too were on borrowed time.  Your hands are beginning to look like a little girls.  I admit, a part of my heart was sad.  My days of snuggling you up, and your little toddler roundness melting into me are numbered.  It has gone so quickly, much faster than I could have anticipated.

You are a wonder my sweet girl.  You are all girliness and sass rolled into one.  You have such a big heart, and can't stand for anyone to be upset.  Your best friend A, at your birthday party on Saturday, was really upset when they got there, and you kept trying to hug her and tell her that it was OK and that you loved her.  My heart swelled with pride as you asked all your friends at your party to help you open  your presents with you, not caring for a moment that they were "yours."

We had lunch at Johnny Rockets yesterday and when they found out it was your birthday, they brought you a dish of ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream and then they all sang you 'Happy Birthday'.  As they sang to you, you got timid all of a sudden and smiled that sweet smile of yours and ducked your head down.  Sitting there, with my arm around you, I could feel your back vibrating as you giggled that little girl giggle that I love so much and then it happened, after they were done singing, you lifted your head up, with a huge smile on  your face and said, "Thank you everyone."  I could have died, right there!  Oh, my sweet, sweet baby girl, my heart leaps with love and pride!

All day, you would say, "I am 3 years old, now I can ...." I want you to always know that, regardless of age, you can do whatever you set your mind to.  Last night, after you fell asleep, I went back into your room, as has long been a habit, and prayed over you again.  I thanked God that 3 years ago, in a hospital room in Birmingham, AL, we were blessed with the gift of you.  We never could have known, your Daddy and I, sitting in the hospital room the night after you were born what you had in store for us.  I remember sitting there, Daddy holding you all snuggled up in his arms and we just looked at you, totally in awe of this tiny baby, that knit us together so perfectly.

Last night, as I knelt on the floor next to your bed, I brushed a curl off of your cheek.  I love to look at you when you are asleep, I can catch glimpses of that tiny baby, all wrapped up in a blanket.  I studied your little nose, and the way that your eyelashes rested on your little pink cheeks.  I ran my finger across your sweet little hand and reached down and patted your little round toddler bottom.  Carefully, I scooped you up, careful not to wake you and snuggled you in my arms close to my chest.  For a minute, I sat there and rocked back and forth and just breathed you in.  Oh, these moments Rory, I don't ever want to forget them.  I sat there for a minute or two, just looking at you, and in my mind, thanking God for the blessing that you are to us.  I asked God to help us remember in those moments when you are so stubborn and hard headed that those traits, although difficult for us now, will come in handy when you are older and are battling for Christ.  I asked God to help you retain your sweet spirit and compassion for other people, but to help us to teach you to recognize people who might take advantage of you. I sat there and rocked you and tried to drink in every last second of you, on the day that you turned 3. 

I don't know how long I sat there, but as I began to lay you back down, you opened your eyes and said, "Hi, Mommy, I love you."  I said "I love you too, tiny girl", and kissed your soft, curly haired head, and you drifted back off to sleep.  I hope that you know how much those 3 little words mean my sweet baby.  I love you, to the moon and back, always will.  Can't wait to see what 3 brings you Rory, God Bless you my sweet, tiny girl. 

All my love,
Mommy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

AWESOME Chicken-n-Dumplins

I saw somewhere that you could use canned biscuits for dumplings in Chicken-n-Dumplings.  I have been fighting a major cold lately and a good batch of C&D sounded perfect, so I tried it last night.  It is AWESOME!  This is by far the easiest and fastest recipe of chicken and dumplings I have ever made and they are REALLY good. Here is my recipe:

1 lb of chicken
1 tbsp of Salt
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 onion chopped. (I bought the prechopped onion in the little container at Pulix...I HATE chopping onion)
1 can of plain canned biscuits
1 box of chicken stock (I don't remember the ounces, but it is not the little can, but the box kind, you know what I mean?)

Boil chicken in water with the salt and then prepare however you prefer.  We like ours cut in small chunks.  Combine the soups, onion and chicken stock in a dutch oven or pot with a lid and bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, flatten out the biscuts and cut them into strips.  I cut each biscuit into 4 strips and then cut those in half so that my dumplings are short and easier to eat.  Add the dumplings one at a time to the boiling soup.  Don't be alarmed when they puff up and float to the top!  Once they have all been added, reduce to a simmer and cover them.  Let them cook for at least 20 minutes.  The dumplings will get not puffy and become dumpling-ie (not a word...whatever) and it is really delicious.  Let me know if you try it.  I am telling you, REALLY easy, and REALLY good!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween

We trick or treat with our babysitter and her family in their neighboorhood.  This year, S was a devil and D was a vampire.  If you asked Rory what they were, she would tell you "Nanna is a fairy and D is a bampire, but he just drinks red juice, he won't really bite."  We got a few pics when it was still day light.  Thankfully.
Here, Rory is not so sure about D.  She is giving him the shifty eye in the pic.  The next two are not the greatest pics, but I think that her expression is funny, so I included it.  Once she got used to him in the costume, it didn't bother her, but at first...she wasn't so sure.
See what I mean?  We were cracking up at her looking at D like "Alright buddy, I am not so sure about you!"

 This is Kev's boss and our sitter's Dad.  He is pretty crazy about Rory and since Kevin was working and it wound up being on a day that he had off, he went trick or treating with  us.  As the evening wore on, he wound up carrying Rory on his shoulders part of the way since she didn't want to ride in the stroller, but didn't want to walk either.
My little Jessie, always on the move.  I made her costume from a shirt and jeans that I picked up at the consignment sale for her school for $5 total.  I split the inseams of the jeans, cut out a chaps-like shape and sewed it into the inseam and then added felt fringe and made loops on the pants at the top to hold her belt.  I took a boy's button down shirt and painted it to look like a western shirt.  She looked pretty cute and it was a CHEAP costume.  I think I had $10 in it total counting the cow print fabric that I made the chaps out of.  Kevin bought her a real western belt with her name on it at the Fiddlers Convention in Athens.  I didn't figure it in to the price of the costume since she can for sure wear it again.
She is trying to pose like Nanna was.  Oh goodness Rory... I am not ready for the sassy teenager poses yet!
Now, the actual Trick or Treating.  I didn't realize that she was flipping us off until I uploaded this picture to the blog.  Haha!  Funny!
Two of S's friends came over to ToT with us.  Rory was excited that there was another cowgirl.  She made sure that teenage cowgirl knew that "there is only one pink Jessie."

Rory and Nanna.  I took a bag to dump her candy in every few houses since I knew that the bucket would get heavy and I knew that she would be leaving candy Hansel and Gretl style on our trail. 
The first house after I had emptied the bucket, she told the person that was handing out candy "Thank you, but that is not near enough...my bucket is still empty."  We laughed and I assured her that there were more houses to fill up her bucket.
See...shoulder ride...told ya!  It was a life saver.  Bless her heart.  I brought her sneakers with us in case she got tired of clomping around in boots, but she wouldn't take them off even though she told me that her feet were "super tired."  I had the stroller for her to ride in, and she did some, but once Mr. G offered to let her ride on his shoulders, the stroller was quickly forgotten.
Flying.  She was high up, Mr. G is about 6'4"
We got back to their house and Rory was really disappointed that we were done.  She said we could go eat 5 candies and then we can go again.  She had a blast and it was nice for her to have some other people to ToT with.  My little Jessie really russelled up some good candy. ;)

School Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Patch

So, I know that I mentioned that Rory is going to MDO 2 days a week from 9-1.  This has been SUCH a great thing for her.  She LOVES it and her teachers are just great.  Last week, they went to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday and then had a Halloween parade and party on Thursday.  I am combining both events into one post since they are both school. 

These pics are WAAAY out of order, but for whatever reason, blogger won't let me rearrange them, so whatever.

After the kiddos got their pumpkins from the patch (aka the lawn of a local church that had been inundated with pumpkins), we tried to get a pic of them all together.  The Mamarazzi were all waiting, but of course, a bunch of 2 and barely 3 year olds were not that cooperative.

They made these shirts and were all supposed to wear them to the patch.  M (on the end) is a 5 day a weeker so she was coming back to the pumpkin patch the next day with the MWF group, so she didn't wear hers.  They were made from their hand prints and were really cute.  I couldn't find a 3 pack of shirts in Rory's size, so hers looked kinda like a dress.  Whatever, it was cute and she loves wearing it around the house.The little dark haired boy next to Rory is who she says that she is going to marry.  Oh brother...here we go!
This is before the patch.  We were all waiting in the sanctuary of the church and "Farmer Ben" came in to read a story about Halloween and pumpkins.  Here are a few of the kiddos.  Rory's 'Bes Fwend' A.L. is the little girl in the shorts with the big brown and orange hair bow.  She and Rory hit it off the first day and have been pretty inseparable since then. 
Farmer Ben
Snack time, before picking their pumpkins.  Rory and A.L. again.  Told ya, they are joined at the hip and from what their teachers tell us, they are quite the gruesome twosome. 
Back out to the patch.  Rory was really confused about why there wasn't a hayride or any slides or play equipment available.
"I got one!"
OK, so now the Halloween parade.  Rory was a "pink Jessie" from Toy Story for Halloween.  I made her costume and it was really cute (as you will see tomorrow in the Halloween post) but I knew that it would get filthy and since I made the fringe on the chaps out of felt, I knew that it would not wash that great, so I whipped up this little outfit for her school Halloween day and also, to wear to our nephew's Bday party at the playground on Saturday.  She was happy with it and could have cared less which one she wore, as long as she got to wear the pink boots.
The Spiderman with the mask on is Rory's self determined future spouse.You notice that they are standing together. 
Well, that is it for today.  Tune in tomorrow for the final pumpkin related post...Halloween!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tate Farms

Get ready for a "Pumpkin-A-Palooza" for the next 3 posts.  Today, it is all about Tate Farms.  A few weekends ago, my Uncle Mark was in from Florida to visit.  We decided that we (Kevin, Mom, Tim, Mark, Linda and Charlie) would take Rory to the pumpkin patch.  My Mom and I took her last year, but Tim and the rest of the crew had never been.  It was a bit warm that day, but we had a great time!

Riding the tire swing horse.  Last year, she wouldn't touch these with a 10 foot pole.  This year...bring it on horsie!

Rory was riding on this thing with the other kids and none of them could figure out how to make it go around so my Mom jumped on.  Rory thought it was hilarious, the other kids...well they thought it was weird.  Way to go Lovie!

The stereotypical pumpkin house picture.  Did I mention it was slightly warm? 


The corn cribs.  Rory loves the idea of the corn crib, she likes jumping in and out, she is a daredevil.  However, as soon as a piece of corn got in her shoe...forget it, she was outta there!  She can not stand things getting in her shoe.  Our trips to the beach from the summer proved that too...one piece of sand and we had a melt down on our hands.
Picking out her tiny pumpkin. She specifically requested a 'tiny pumpkin' and went through quite a few before finding her perfect one.  She would pick one up, look at it, and throw it over her shoulder "Nope, this is not it" and go to the next one. 
On the way out of the patch, Hollywood was wearing Lovie's glasses (because her great Mommy left hers in the car) and she sat on the pumpkin and said "Take my picture right here" and so I did. 

There are more pics than this, I guess I forgot to upload them all.  Oh well, I am at work and can't do it right now.  Maybe later...or maybe not!

Stay tuned for rounds 2 and 3 on pumpkins in the next 2 days.  I really do promise this time, I am scheduling them to post...for real!

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